Fuchsia popped onto the scene like a particularly bombastic blossom this spring, and it looks like she’s here to stay. This effervescent, hyperfeminine shade contrasts with grey skies and ever greyer news headlines in a way which just makes sense for winter 2022.
All colours have a vibe and the symbolism and personality of hot pink are a force to be reckoned with. Picture Margot Robbie’s Barbie roller skating into a fluorescent David LaChapelle photograph and you’ve got the idea. Fuchsia shades bring a feelgood dopamine explosion which is just the tonic right now.
Traditionally associated with a “sugar and spice and all things nice” verison of femininity many women could do without, pink has been turbocharged and subverted into something both powerful and playful in its fuchsia incarnation.
As recently as 2014 women were being advised in the fashion pages that pink stood for “weakness and a lack of intellectual rigour” which was “not advisable for women to wear it to work in the corporate world or the City, as they are less likely to be taken seriously.” Words which have aged like milk and seem shockingly irrelevant.
The reclamation of pink has been steamrolling through the public consciousness at the rate of knots over the past decade and now hot pink is much more likely to be associated with being bold and assertive.
Image credit: The Shirt Company
Historically, pink has been conceptualised as a different shade of red which Karen Haller — an expert in colour and branding — described in a Guardian article as “the colour of masculinity – it represented stamina and power.”
This power was easy to see in the tailored hot pink of the Valentino Pink PP collection which was described by designer Pierpaolo Piccioli as a celebration of expressible possibility in the face of the apparent restriction of a single hue.
Although it is currently and undoubtedly on trend right now, hot pink is not a flash in the pan whose relevance in your wardrobe will wash out. In fact, fuchsia pink's current cultural moment draws easy parallels with avant garde fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s shocking pink legacy which began in the late ‘30s. Vibrantly lighting up an often drab world of wartime austerity, Schiaperelli’s pink vision offered the designer a way to disconnect from global conflict and find inspiration.
This feisty shocking pink moment reached its zenith when Schiaparelli was signed as the costume designer for 1952’s Moulin Rouge and brought us Zsa Zsa Gabor’s iconic Jane Avril dress.
Hungarian-American actress and socialite, Zsa Zsa Gabor, was born #OnThisDay in 1917. She starred as Jane Avril in the 1952 film, Moulin Rouge. Elsa Schiaparelli designed the film's costumes, including this shocking pink gown worn by Gabor. #film #costume #dress #Schiaparelli pic.twitter.com/GybICf1Hsc— Victoria Haddock (@vickyhaddock) February 6, 2022
It’s perhaps no coincidence that fuchsia is having a moment and offering us some escapism in a post-covid world of uncertainty and tightened purse strings. It’s tough out there, but in the words of Karen Heller,“hot pink is feisty and grown up. In that tonal choice people are saying: ‘We’re not going to be seen as weak,’ and ‘Don’t mess with me.’”